How to Engage Customers: Tips for Manufacturing Companies

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Customer engagement is the connection which consumers make with your brand. It is one of the important factors of brand loyalty, since companies with a following of highly engaged clients will always have buyers ready to purchase their products. According to the Gallup State of the American Consumer 2014:fully engaged clients comprise a 23% share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth. Engaged clients also encourage others to follow their lead, becoming highly effective brand ambassadors.

To reap these benefits, here are five tips how to engage customers and improve engagement levels:

  1. Create an Effective Email Campaign – Email marketing is still alive and going strong. However, in order to truly tap into its power, you need to ensure a few things:
    1. Include calls-to-action in each email
    2. Write clear, attention-grabbing subject lines
    3. Sending all emails from a person rather than your general company address
  2. Make use of Social Media – Sharing your content through social increases your reach, but social is also an excellent way to engage your clients. It can be the key to making them feel special and ensuring their loyalty to you. You should ask questions, generate discussions and answer whatever queries your clients have on mind. You can also follow influential clients on your list and promote pieces of content which they write or post through your own posts and tweets. Some may be so grateful that they’d mention your brand to their followers, helping you with your brand awareness efforts.
  3. Avoid Becoming Spammy – Don’t exclusively post ads, promotions, upgrade reminders and other promotional content. This will make your clients grow tired of following you. Some may simply unfollow you on social—which is definitely a sign of being unengaged—some may go to extreme levels of either no longer recommending you or even discouraging potential customers from working with you. So keep your promotional messages to a minimum and provide valuable content instead.
  4. Humanize Your Brand – To engage your audience, you need to make them relate to your brand. Some brands and manufacturers may find this easier than other, simply based on the base of their product or service. However, with a little creativity and a team that’s passionate about your brand, you can find ways to achieve this. You can launch a campaign with this goal in mind. Take, for example @ToyotaEquipment, that periodically posts their humorous #Forklift selfies as well as valuable safety tips and reminders. These posts bring value to current customers and humanize the brand.  You can start developing this aspect of your customer management by identifying a team member who is naturally communicative and personable and appreciates the opportunity to be the outward facing social voice of your brand. Cultivate them into a thought leader and give designate them as the social message and interaction manager. Their interaction with your clients on social will naturally humanize the brand and engage your audience.
  5. Follow Up on Your Clients – Your job with customer engagement is not done after a purchase is made with the idea that these customers no longer need to be engages since they are no longer in the market for your offerings. In fact, for most industries, engaged customers become repeat customers. Even if you’re selling heavy duty equipment that rarely needs to be replaced, you want to be the manufacturer they come to if it ever does; or, how about when they scale and need a larger fleet, for example? Plus, if customers feel that you drop them the moment they drop the cash, they are not likely to promote your brand as being customer satisfaction oriented. You value your customers. So make sure they know that. You can have them sign up for newsletter content on general interest topics related to your niche. This will keep you on their minds and ensure your engagement beyond the sale.

Though inbound marketing can be very helpful with brand awareness, customer retention and engagement, manufacturing marketers have been generally slower to adopt inbound methods and are already having trouble achieving their goals. Don’t wait to get onboard online and start increasing engagement digitally with these suggestions.

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